54/9: A Relevant Doubt

Summary: Having seen that sadhana is not very difficult, we might wonder why so many people in this world are not doing it seriously. Doubts, preconceived priorities, lack of self-honesty and search for quick results in our life are some of the main reasons that stop most of us from taking this path to the extreme.

Verse 54: Je Ekottareyachiya Vadhi, Jalatiye Aagi Ghaaliti Udi, Te Anayaase Swagodi, Saanditi Kevi?

Translation: (Arjuna, you might ask) People even jump in burning fire to gain a few paise. Then, how is it that we do not see them going after this easy path for permanent happiness?

In the last few verses, we have seen what it means by `sadhana’, how to implement it in our daily life and the ultimate gain of doing sadhana the way it has been prescribed. I hope that my previous interpretations of these verses have made you all feel that sadhana is not like climbing Everest. It is an easy process which can be implemented in our life and at the end we all live in eternal happiness!

Reason 1: Doubt. Of course, it is very difficult to believe that solution to our problems can be simple. If it were so simple, we feel that, we could have found it ourselves. We all feel that the our occasional mental unrest for no apparent reason must have some very complicated reasons and must be very difficult to remove from our life. Hence, when someone gives a very simple advice, we generally tend to look at it suspiciously.

One famous such example is that of Swami Yogananda, a direct disciple of Ramakrishna Paramhans. The first time he told Ramakrishna Paramhans about his fear of getting lost in physical attraction towards opposite sex, he was told ` Chant the name of Hari, then all these thoughts would go away.’ He couldn’t believe that it is so easy to overcome lust. If it were so, then everyone would have been free of lust. So he went to a Hathayogi to learn some yoga with which he can control his mind. When Ramakrishna Paramhans saw him going to that yogi, he again told him about chanting the name of Krishna. Yogananda then thought that I should at least give it a try and started saying Hari’s name with concentrated mind. Shortly afterwards, he began to see tangible results of his sadhana.

Reason 2: Our predispositions. Every action or belief has its own consequences. If we believe that the sun always rises in the east, then as its consequence, we have to believe that it can never rise in south, north or any other direction. Now, for someone who wants to believe that there is a possibility that the sun can sometime in future rise in west, the simple belief of sun always rises in the east is not possible. Just like that, even though the path of sadhana is simple, its goal is to realize that there is nothing in our life that is `important’ without our saying so. Imagine someone who thinks earning money is important in its own right, whether we say that it is important or not. This belief of that person is in contradiction with the goal of the sadhana and he has to choose between one of those two beliefs. If the person has the tenacity to find out what is true by closely observing his life, he will surely know what is the truth. But, everyone is not blessed with such patience and perseverance in trying to see the truth. Moreover, their patience is even less when they think that their belief is obviously true! Such a person then would just assume that what the sadhana is going to tell him is wrong and would never even try it out. Thus, his predispositions came in the way of implementing the simple procedure outlined in previous verses.

Reason 3: Short cuts or lack of honesty. If one thinks `what is the need of doing sadhana everyday?’ Or `I am doing fine by doing only what I think as the main routine of sadhana, there is no need to follow the directions of my guru to the letter.’ Then, he/she cannot do the sadhana the way it should be done. However, such a person is fully convinced that they are doing sadhana as told by the guru! After some time, they may get disillusioned about the efficacy of the sadhana and may even stop. Hence, even though the path is easy, their lack of self-honesty forces them to walk on a different trail. Such a person will not enjoy the full benefit of sadhana.

Reason 4: Lack of foresight. We are used to certain way of living. Our lifestyle in essence is quite comfortable. We do get an occasional jolt, but on the whole we are better off than most. We therefore choose to ignore our sporadic depression and continue to walk the same path. However, we actually overlook one major point. Every new day, we are increasing the stakes of what we mean by being happy. Unknowingly, we cease to be as happy today as we were yesterday if we get the same thing again. Instinctively, we always look for better, bigger and more fulfilling experience. This basic tendency of our mind has the seed of future unhappiness in it. Sooner or later, we will demand an experience that we cannot obtain. However, at present, there is no such uncomfortable situation. Most of us tend to be happy with this deal and think that we will worry about our mind when it actually becomes unhappy. (But this is like starting to dig a well when we are actually thirsty!)

Conclusion: The fact is, after hearing about sadhana and its effect on our life, a very few of us would feel its truth. These would immediately start on the path of sadhana. The rest would say that it is all nonsense and continue to live the life as before. Those will never venture out on this path, however easy it is. But, because of their choice, they will be forced to spend increasingly more efforts for their pleasure and would end up in having to jump in the burning fire to extract that extra bit of happiness. Some amongst them would start on the path of sadhana at that time. The rest amongst the rest would not agree even at that time that they had made a mistake. Hence, they will continue to live worldly life. Then again, at some even more distant future point, some amongst the remaining would come to the path of sadhana. This process will go on and on. In the end, all of us will be doing sadhana. Everyone will eventually be liberated. It is just the question of when!! The choice is yours.

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